Rainbow cookies on their sides scattered on a marble surface.
Photography, Art Direction & Food Styling: Anthony Contrino

I’m not going to lie, these cookies are a project, BUT they are so worth it.  If I had to pick one cookie that screams Italian-American, it would be these beauties.  There’s something really special when you combine the delicate almond sponge cake with raspberry jam, apricot jam and chocolate glaze.  
To be completely honest, I NEVER make a batch this small, but had to create a recipe that made a “normal” yield of cookies when we shot this for Saucy.  (You can watch how to make them HERE for a step-by-step visual!) I often make three separate batches of this exact recipe, but, instead of dividing the batter, I leave the first uncolored, then color the remaining two batches red and green.  I use a half pan to cook each batch which will result in a slightly thicker final product (which I prefer!). Either way, if all you know is the store-bought, mass produced version of this cookie, then you ABSOLUTELY MUST make this recipe.  You will never go back!

Rainbow Cookies

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 4 dozen



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces almond paste
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, separated
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • Red gel food coloring
  • Green gel food coloring
  • ½ cup seedless raspberry jam, stirred to soften
  • ½ cup apricot jam, stirred to soften


  • 12 ounces dark chocolate, rough chopped
  • cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 quarter sheet pans with non-stick cooking spray, line with parchment and spray the paper with another coating of non-stick spray.
  • MAKE THE CAKE LAYERS: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour and salt until well combined; set aside.
  • Using your fingers, soften the almond paste, break it into small pieces and add it to a stand mixer bowl.
  • Add the butter and ¾ cup of the sugar and cream until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the egg yolks, one at a time, allowing each to fully combine before adding the next.
  • Add the almond extract and mix to combine.
  • Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Transfer the batter to a large bowl.
  • In a clean stand mixer bowl, whip the egg whites, on medium speed, until foamy.
  • With the machine running, sprinkle in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, increase the speed to medium-high and whip to medium peaks.
  • Add ½ of the egg white to the batter and mix to combine.
  • Gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Divide the batter into thirds. (Approximately 350 grams each.)
  • Add a drop or two of red food coloring to one of the bowls and gently fold to combine.
  • Add a drop or two of green food coloring to another bowl and gently fold to combine.
  • Using a small offset spatula, spread the batter from each bowl into the prepared sheet pans into an even layer.
  • Run your thumb around the rim of each sheet pan to create a well in between the pan and the batter.
  • Bake until just set, for 12 to 14 minutes. The sponge cakes should not take on any color.
  • Let sit for 10 minutes before carefully sliding the cakes, using the parchment, onto cooling racks; cool completely.
  • Turn a quarter sheet pan upside-down and cover with a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Place the green cake layer, bottom-side up, onto the parchment and spread the apricot jam evenly over the cake.
  • Carefully place the uncolored cake layer, bottom-side-up, evenly atop the green layer.
  • Spread the raspberry jam evenly over the cake.
  • Place the red cake layer, bottom-side-up, evenly atop the uncolored layer.
  • Place a sheet of parchment over the cake and then top with a few heavy books to press the cake layers.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove the weights and top sheet of parchment and slide the cake onto a cutting board.
  • Trim ¼” off the sides of the cake to create sharp edges.
  • Quarter the cake, lengthwise; refrigerate.
  • Meanwhile, MAKE THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the chocolate, cream and corn syrup and stir to combine.
  • Microwave the chocolate in 30 second intervals until melted, stirring between each interval, to form a thick glaze.
  • Place a length of the cake onto a cooling rack. Spoon ¼ of the glaze onto the cake strip.
  • Using a small offset, spread the glaze over the top, then smooth out the sides and top.
  • Transfer to a cutting board and cut the strip into ¾” cookies.
  • Transfer the cookies to a parchment-line sheet pan.
  • Repeat with the remaining strips and glaze.
  • Refrigerate the cookies until the ganache sets.
  • Serve at room temperature.
Course: Dessert
Author: Anthony Michael Contrino